Cholesterol: Everything You Should Know

Cholesterol is a substance similar to fat, found in the body’s cells, it is necessary to produce vitamin D , hormones such as testosterone, and bile acids that help the body digest food better.

The cholesterol that our body needs to fulfill its task, our own body produces it or about 60%, so our cholesterol consumption should be minimal.

The problem is when in our diet we consume more cholesterol and when combined with other substances in the blood, they form a plaque that sticks in the blood vessels.

Good cholesterol or HDL

This cholesterol helps prevent the body’s fat from coming into contact with the blood and subsequently sticking to the walls of the arteries; and on the contrary, good cholesterol causes fat to reach the liver so that they can be processed and eliminated there.

Bad Cholesterol or LDL

This cholesterol clogs the arteries, its accumulation of fat blocks the passage of blood to the heart and brain, causing very serious diseases such as heart attacks, hypertension, cardiomyopathies or heart failure.

How it affects the body

  1. Atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries
    2. Heart disease
    3. Stroke
    4. Chest pain or angina due to lack of oxygen

What Causes Having High Cholesterol

  1. Mainly consume too much LDL and little HDL to help you fight.
  2. Excessive consumption of saturated fat, processed foods or fried foods.
  3. Some foods such as dairy, chocolate and baked goods contain harmful fats.
  4. Smoking increases LDL and reduces HDL.
  5. A sedentary lifestyle helps reduce HDL.
  6. Hypercholesterolemia is an inherited disease that causes high cholesterol.
  7. The consumption of certain medications such as beta blockers, diuretics and contraceptives can cause cholesterol to rise.
  8. Being overweight and obese increases the risk of having high cholesterol.
  9. Diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome or hypoactive thyroid gland can cause high cholesterol.
  10. An increase in cholesterol may also occur during pregnancy.

Foods to Increase HDL

  1. Avocado, rich in fatty acids, fiber, sterols and stanols.
    2. Nuts , which in addition to raising the HDL, helps reduce LDL.
    3. Legumes , rich in fiber and protein such as lentils or beans, the most recommended is soy.
    4. Whole grains , in addition to being rich in fiber, are well known for reducing LDL.
    5. Vegetables , especially those with green leaves such as spinach.

 

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